fast dinner

A Week in Dinners

Today’s post is a quickie about my dinners this week. Without further preamble, here you go!

Baked Salmon with Mustard Sauce and Kale.

The way I bake salmon is fail-safe. I use a piece of foil, put the salmon down, season it however I want, then loosely wrap the foil. I bake it at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes depending on how thick the salmon fillet is. Usually 18 minutes is a good time.

I have about four or five favorite salmon “recipes” and this one is probably #2. I make it a lot. I take some dijon mustard and add a little brown sugar, mix well and top the salmon with the mustard. It’s sweet and tangy at the same time. This time I added a little cayenne pepper to it to see how much of a bite it gave the sauce. It wasn’t very spicy.


I sauteed some kale in a skillet with chicken stock and topped it with the salmon. It was a filling, delicious dinner for 400 calories.

Thai Noodles with Broccoli.

I have fallen in love with the Thai Kitchen noodles. They come in a little packet (like Ramen) and there’s about four different flavor. This time I used the lemongrass and chili flavor. The packet itself is around 170 calories and it’s SO GOOD!


I cooked the noodles and added steamed broccoli to it. I topped it with sriracha sauce. I know it was an “easy” dinner and nothing fancy but I loved how tasty it was. I made a salad to go with my noodles. The salad was: spinach, Oregon Gorgonzola, slivered almonds and half an avocado.


It was definitely enough food, and it was only around 400 calories for everything. This is a good dinner for me when I’m cooking for just myself because it’s so easy and quick.

Cheeseburger with Greens.

Michael is the burgerΒ connoisseurΒ in our house and he makes good burgers! Since Michael is gluten-free, he uses gluten-free buns for the burgers. I’d much rather just skip the bun altogether, so that’s what I’ve been doing lately. He grilled up the burgers and I had a slice of smoked Gouda on mine.


I added stoneground mustard to the top of my burger and had steamed green beans as my side with pickles and green olives. Weird, I know, but so good. Not seen in the photo was the glass of Cabernet I had with dinner, too. Calories for dinner: 650.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos.

Tuesday night was dog walking! It was a really nice day, the sun was out and warm and the dogs were super excited to be outside. Michael and I walked Cindy and Tiki again. We’ve walked them before. They are an adorable pair.


They are a funny pair. They walk really fast but they have tiny little legs so it’s hilarious to watch. They also have to stop and pee on EVERYTHING. Even if there’s nothing else coming out. It’s silly.


They are sweet and affectionate and so chill. After those two, we walked Bessie. She’s not for adoption (she previously was, was adopted and was there for some medical treatments only). She was a basset hound. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only seen basset hounds in cartoons and never in person. πŸ˜‰


When Michael and I got home from volunteering at The Pixie Project, ready to make dinner, I realized our dishwasher was broken. This comes after Michael’s old TV broke and then his iPod broke…so instead of fixing dinner, I spent an hour washing three days worth of dishes that were sitting in our broken dishwasher!

Despite that, dinner was simple and quick. Michael sauteed the shrimp in a skillet with coconut oil and cayenne pepper. I prepped the small corn tortillas.


Two tortillas equal 110 calories. I put refried beans on it, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chopped jalapenos, and black olives in the tortillas and topped it with shrimp. The shrimp was super spicy! A serving of shrimp was about 100 calories but dinner ended up being around 700 calories total because of all the fixings (and tortilla chips)!

Grilled Cheese.

Yeah. It was one of those weeks and by Thursday I was over it. We’d had house guests the previous two weekends in a row so I hadn’t done a whole lot of grocery shopping. Which meant the choices for dinner were slim pickings. We decided on grilled cheese. Michael picked up a fancy loaf of bread at the store and we had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Robyn's Birthday

Guess which one was mine? πŸ˜‰ I went with half a sandwich. The bread was pretty rich. It also got smashed down pretty good with the press.


I had steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing and some green olives. I just felt like I needed some green on my plate. Man, it had been a long time since we had some REAL BREAD. Michael even broke his gluten-free thing to enjoy the sourdough. It was so good. (We might have eaten a piece of bread slathered in butter while dinner was cooking…and we might have both looked like we’d been on a deserted island for a month starving…)

The grilled cheese was exactly what I needed last night. Sometimes comfort food is good. Calories were high. I estimated around 800 with all the snacking I did while dinner was cooking. But the grilled cheese was so good!

QUESTION: Any remarkable dinners this week?

Salmon with Hazelnuts Over Spinach

I wanted to make salmon for dinner and since we eat salmon a lot, I wanted to try a new recipe. On my way home from work I kept thinking “I wonder if salmon and hazelnuts go together?” When I got home I googled it to find a recipe. I had all the ingredients for this one and decided to give the recipe a go.

First, I had to figure out how to toast my hazelnuts and figure out how to get the skin off. Who knew the skin was supposed to be removed? Luckily I found this post on how to do just that.

I baked the hazelnuts on a tray at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes and then did the very messy work of getting the skin off. The trick the website suggested worked well but yes, it’s very messy.


I didn’t really measure. I just kind of threw everything together in the skillet. Michael cooked the salmon in the skillet and I seasoned it with salt, pepper and onion powder.Β I worked on the spinach.

I’m not a huge fan of cooked spinach but I can eat it in small doses. In fact, I DESPISED cooked spinach for my entire life. I remember being a little kid and my mom would microwave frozen spinach in a covered dish with some butter and made us eat that. I hated it and refused every single time. You can imagine the temper tantrums! YUCK. So I refused to eat spinach for most of my life. Then I met Michael. One morning he made a scrambled egg dish with sauteed spinach, feta cheese and smoked salmon. Lucky for him (or me) our relationship was new enough that I was willing to try it even though I hated spinach. And it surprised me. I actually liked it. Maybe raw baby spinach cooked in butter is much better than the frozen crap? Who knows.

Even though I can now enjoy cooked spinach without the urge to wretch, I still don’t want to eat tons of it, which is why I didn’t make much. But if I make this recipe in the future, I will use more spinach. It definitely needed the full amount.

When the spinach was cooked down, I set it aside and covered it to keep it warm while I cooked the garlic. I added the salt and pepper and lemon juice from half a lemon. I added the toasted hazelnuts to the skillet just to coat them in the sauce and then poured the mixture over the salmon.

I liked the recipe. I thought it was mild and light. It felt like a healthy dinner. I really enjoyed the combinations of flavors. The hazelnuts went really nicely with the salmon and spinach.

Michael’s opinion was that it was “okay” and that the hazelnuts didn’t really add much to the recipe. I think we differ on this opinion, but maybe that’s because I’d been craving hazelnuts.

QUESTION: Do you have an aversion to food because of your childhood? Can you eat that food as an adult now?